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L’avventura Criterion Blu-ray Review

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A review of The Criterion Collection Blu-ray of L'AVVENTURA (1960) by the fall 2017 Editorial Board of the magazine FILM MATTERS.

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L’avventura Criterion Blu-ray Review

  1. 1. L’avventura (1960) A CRITERION COLLECTION BLU-RAY (SPINE #98) REVIEW IN FOURTEEN FRAMES
  2. 2. In this chosen frame from L'avventura (1960), heavy contrast immediately draws the eye – it’s interesting to note that Claudia (Monica Vitti), though she is removed from the indoors and the darker side of the frame, is still dressed in deeper colors that set her off from the background. She looks like she has been transplanted from the darker side of the frame – beyond that, her size is not that much different from the doll that decorate the darker side of the frame, providing some interesting implications to her character. Catherine Colson Visual Review
  3. 3. This frame from Michelangelo Antonioni's classic Italian film, L‘avventura (1960), portrays a dynamic and layered mise-en- scene, as there is action and visual aesthetics in the foreground, middle, and background. The intense depth of field relates to the heavy narrative plot of the film. L’avventura (1960) Jamie Foley
  4. 4. L’avventura (1960) by JT Fritsch In this extreme long shot in L’avventura (1960), directed by Michelangelo Antonioni, Claudia (Monica Vitti) and Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) are traveling through the European countryside to look for their friend Anna (Lea Massari). Lost, they stop at a church, boasting large columns and archways, which towers over them and the town below, to ask for directions. The church is empty, which prompts the question to Sandro: “I wonder why they built it at all.” This dialogue informs the positioning of the elements present because it seems the church was framed to look as powerful as possible against the small characters and town, only to give the travelers no answers. The other surroundings are desolate, gritty, and the plants in the foreground and the small garden seem to be dead or dying. The town in the valley, enclosed by mountains, turns out to be a cemetery, reinforcing this idea.
  5. 5. Giulia (Dominique Blanchar) looks worriedly aside and appears much shorter than Claudia (Monica Vitti) in frame, emphasizing Giulia’s lack of confidence and insecurity when juxtaposed with Claudia’s seemingly tall stature. Sean Gallagher
  6. 6. This frame from L'avventura (1960), with its layered composition and long shot framing, creates a voyeuristic feel as the audience watches Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) and Claudia (Monica Vitti) rendezvous. The framing of the shot from the dark alleyway sets up tension in the scene, creating a sense of unease in the audience. Having the characters small in the frame also places the audience outside of the situation, forcing them to think about what's happing between Sandro and Claudia.  - Danet Grabbe
  7. 7. These final tantalizing shots in L’avventura (1960) leave the audience wishing for more as the film comes to an unresolved and confusing ending that plays perfectly into the open-ended and unfinished nature of the film. Like the rest of the film, the ease with which the characters stopped searching for Anna in what is assumed to be the main plotline, the ending just stops with no final answer for any of our characters. The placement of Claudia’s (Monica Vitti) hand on the back of Sandro’s (Gabriele Ferzetti) head reflects a feeling of forgiveness, or a sense of pity toward Sandro as seen in the close-up of the hand on his head in the bottom image. The close-up shows significance in the meaning behind the hand placement instead of it appearing as a useless gesture. The vast open landscape shown in the top image is a representation of the open ending that the film faces. The characters stare out into the mountains without saying anything; but they are placed so close together that it seems they are unable to resist their pull to each other. They are weak to their own passions and wants for each other despite what has happened between them. -Breanna Grim
  8. 8. In Michelangelo Antonioni’s L’avventura (1960) we find Claudia (Monica Vitti) encompassed by the expanse of her lonely environment; an island unto herself, she offers only cries of confusion and pain into the void. -Matthew Johnson
  9. 9. Although Monica Vitti is relatively still throughout this scene from L‘avventura, she uses her eyes as a window to Claudia's emotions. The audience can see she is having character thoughts without showing it directly. Vitti is natural with her technique here and creates a three-dimensional character. She appears to be using The Method, using her personal experiences to create a realistic performance. The scene could be played without dialogue, and the audience would still be able to feel her distress, which makes for brilliant acting. -Cheyenne Puga L’avventura (1960)
  10. 10. T h e f r a m i n g i n t h i s s t i l l f r o m L ‘ a v v e n t u r a ( 1 9 6 0 ) b u i l d s s u s p e n s e i n t h e m i n d o f t h e a u d i e n c e b y e m p h a s i z i n g t h a t w h i c h i s o f f f r a m e . T h e d e p t h o f p e r s p e c t i v e i n w h i c h C l a u d i a ( M o n i c a V i t t i ) i s c a p t u r e d a d d s b o t h c o n t e x t a n d w e i g h t t o h e r v a n t a g e p o i n t i n w i t n e s s i n g w h a t i s t a k i n g p l a c e o n t h e s t r e e t b e l o w . T h e f r a m e i s e f f e c t i v e l y d i v i d e d i n h a l f b y t h e l o o m i n g i n t e r i o r w a l l l e f t o f f r a m e , w h i c h i s b o t h d a r k a n d h e a v i l y t e x t u r e d . T h i s m i s e - e n - s c e n e a c t s t o b o t h “ b l o c k ” o u r v i e w o f w h a t C l a u d i a i s w i t n e s s i n g , a n d t o p u s h t h e f o c u s o f t h e f r a m e f u r t h e r t o t h e r i g h t . H e r e , t h e c o n v e n i n g w a l l s o f t h e b a l c o n y a c t a s l e a d i n g l i n e s t h a t h i g h l i g h t C l a u d i a ' s p o s i t i o n i n g a t t h e i r a p e x . L’avventura (1960) A u s t i n G r e y
  11. 11. The lighting of the rooms compared to the brighter outside, where Claudia is, can also signify the film's focus more on Claudia despite the audience following Anna at the beginning. Ethan Schneier L’avventura (1960) This frame foreshadows the entire plot of the love triangle/love affair that Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) has with Claudia (Monica Vitti) while also highlighting how Claudia feels distant, figuratively and literally, with the mise-en-scene, from Sandro, as he may favor Anna (Lea Massari) over her throughout the film.
  12. 12. Here in a medium shot from Michelangelo Antonioni's L'avventura (1960), we see our flawed protagonist Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) placed in the middle of the frame while the shadowy outline of Claudia (Monica Vitti) is cast behind him. With this use of high-key lighting from directly behind the camera, Claudia's silhouette is what really grabs the audience's eye (both on the wall and in the mirror). Even the particular placement of Claudia's outstretched hand can be interpreted as acting as her invitation to Sandro to be with her and be happy, but always out of reach. Almost like a temptation that cannot be enjoyed yet, as long as their overall mission to find Anna (Lea Massari) looms over them. Also, Sandro's uninterested reaction to Claudia's gesture can be seen as foreshadowing events that occur later on in the film, revealing Sandro's true nature. – Anthony Wilson
  13. 13. In this shot from L’avventura (1960), the viewer is able to forgive the unusual narrative style in favor of the pure filmic talent presented. With Sandro (Gabriele Ferzetti) and the horizon sitting on the horizontal lines in the rule of thirds, and Anna (Lea Massari) on the right vertical line, the audience is treated to a beautifully composed shot. While the reclining positions and airy clothing suggest an innocuous weekend getaway, the facial features and slight tension in the bodies of Ferzetti and Massari paired with the formulaic positioning relay the proverbial calm before the storm depicted in this shot. -K. M. Wise
  14. 14. Blu-ray by The Criterion Collection  Disc Features  New 4K digital restoration, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack on the Blu-ray  Audio commentary featuring film historian Gene Youngblood  Olivier Assayas on “L’avventura,” an analysis of the film in three parts  Antonioni: Documents and Testimonials, a fifty-eight-minute documentary by Gianfranco Mingozzi from 1966  Writings by director Michelangelo Antonioni, read by actor Jack Nicholson, plus Nicholson’s personal recollections of the director  Trailer  New English subtitle translation  PLUS: An essay by critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith, Antonioni’s statements about the film after its 1960 Cannes Film Festival premiere, and an open letter distributed at the festival  New cover by Lucien S. Y. Yang  For more information about this product, please visit: https://www.criterion.com/films/209- l-avventura

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